Shortage of Ozempic, 2 other diabetes drugs expected to last into 2024: Health Canada
Diabetes drug Ozempic is shown at a pharmacy in Toronto on Wednesday, April 19, 2023. Health Canada says it is working with manufacturers to make diabetes drugs, including Ozempic, more available during a worldwide shortage fuelled by high demand. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joe O'Connal
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, December 6, 2023 7:39PM EST
Health Canada says it is working with manufacturers to make diabetes drugs, including Ozempic, more available during a worldwide shortage fuelled by high demand that's expected to last into the new year.
It says Novo Nordisk, which markets Ozempic, is expecting a shortage in Canada of the 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg and 1 mg injection pens until early2024.
Eli Lilly, which markets Trulicity and Mounjaro, is also expecting lower supplies of both drugs throughout early 2024.
Health Canada says efforts are being made to increase manufacturing capacity but it will take time to build up supply levels.
In the meantime, it is recommending that prescribers do not start new patients on the drugs, unless there are no suitable alternatives and there's a clinical reason to do so.
The regulator says the drugs, often used for weight loss, should be conserved for people who have no other treatment choices as both drug companies are asking pharmacists to limit refill prescriptions to a 30-day supply.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 6, 2023.